Saab has, for the first time, conducted autonomous take-off and landing of the SHARC technical demonstrator

Saab has, for the first time, conducted autonomous take-off and landing
of the SHARC technical demonstrator

On Wednesday August 25, Saab conducted its first totally autonomous
flight with its unmanned aerial vehicle, the SHARC technical
demonstrator. SHARC took off, flew and landed completely according to
plan, and Saab can now count itself among the few companies to succeed
in conducting a totally autonomous flight.

"By conducting flights with autonomous take-off and landing, we have
shown the rest of the world that we are a company to be reckoned with in
future collaborative international UAV projects. We have strengthened
our position as one of the main players in the UAV market," says Lennart
Sindahl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Saab Aerosystems.

The flight took place during a test campaign at the Swedish Defence
Materiel Administration test site in Vidsel. After taking off without
pilot assistance, the SHARC performed a totally autonomous mission
before landing on its own, aided by differential GPS and a radar height
finder.

The SHARC technical demonstrator has been developed by Saab. The project
began in 2001 and the first flight was conducted in February 2002. The
test campaign recently carried out in Vidsel is the third in order. The
previous test campaigns, which included autonomous flights both within
and beyond the point of visibility, laid the foundation for the
successful autonomous take-off and landing.

Successfully completing totally autonomous flights - i.e. flights with
no pilot assistance whatsoever - is an important stage in Saab's
development of autonomous UAVs.

There are many advantages of being able to conduct autonomous take-offs
and landings, as these are the points where a large proportion of UAV
failures occur. Automating these parts of a flight therefore represents
a dramatic risk reduction, while also bringing about tactical and
operational benefits such as landing at dusk or in darkness.

Pictures available at:
http://www.newsonline.nu/imgway/index.asp?pmid=44423

Saab is one of the world's leading high-technology companies, with its
main operations focusing on defence, aviation and space. The Group
covers a broad spectrum of competence and capability in systems
integration.

For further information please contact:
Heidi Wendt, Communications Director, Saab Aerosystems,
+46 (0)13-18001 / +46 (0)734-180017

For images, please contact:
Nina Eriksson, Digital Media Saab Aerosystems,
+46 13-182384 / +46 734-182384

www.saab.se

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